Today's Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge Prompt is:
Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping.
So, firstly, let's choose a book. The one I was reading while waiting to see the doctor this morning was:
Hunter, Dr David. Living With Arthritis: the Complete Self-care Guide. Sydney: ABC Books, 2006. (Amazon doesn't have it listed, so I can't give you a link.)
Let's grab a sentence from page 127, on exercise. Regular, moderate exercise offers a whole host of benefits to people with arthritis, the most important being that it replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joints and can reduce stiffness, pain and swelling; it builds strong muscles around the joints and increases flexibility and endurance; and it can decrease bone loss.
All good stuff. I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I hate it when I'm not allowed to do the exercise that I used to love.
I loved martial arts - I did judo as a kid and taekwondo as an adult. Both of these are excellent forms of exercise - they work on stamina, strength and flexibility - all the areas exercise is supposed to cover. They also require a body that actually works properly. You just can't play a contact sport when you have lupus (well, at least it's not advisable to do so.)
What comes immediately to mind is using my entire strength to kick a kick pad, at chest height, over and over and over again, why the coach yelled: "Come on Iris! Crunch it out! This is for the nationals!" I'd be flat out doing a round kick at knee height now. I'd be flat out doing a front kick (which doesn't require anywhere near as much hip flexibility) at knee height.
From taekwondo, I went to the more ladylike Curves. I loved the Curves workout. It's circuit training, but with their Curves Smart program, everyone carries a little smart card to plug into each machine as they come to it. The computer knows everyone's individual capability and keeps everyone working at their own set level. It was a combination of resistance and cardio workout, with a stretching program to cool down. Again, an all-round exercise program, and this one was tailor-made for the individual.
Then came the fateful day when my specialist said I had to reduce the amount of steroid I was taking. "But, but, but," I stammered, "what about my exercise?"
That's when I got my lecture about how much I was doing. That whole "use it or lose it" thing works for most people. With lupus, there's a big risk that if you over-use it you lose it, so my rheumatologist told me. (Of course, he may have just made that up to be mean because he knew how much I loved Curves!)
Didn't I need exercise? He recommended I do hydrotherapy instead.
Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge